Cape Girardeau’s unemployment rate decreased by over half a percentage point last month, but the unemployment rate was still more than three times higher than last year’s unemployment rate for May. Data that was revealed on Thursday by the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations listed the county’s unemployment rate at 8.9% and the county’s unemployment rate was listed at 9.5% for April. A total of 5,011 county residents filed their claims for unemployment benefits last month. This lower jobless rate is a reflection of the step-by-step reopening last month of several businesses within the county, like restaurants and retail stores. These businesses had been closed down since the middle of March due to the coronavirus. Employment by businesses such as these was good enough to make up for the 1,354 initial unemployment claims filed by county residents last month. Cape Girardeau County’s unemployment rate of 8.9 percent for May was still high above last year’s jobless rate of 2.8 percent. The county’s jobless rates of 9.5% and 8.6% over the past two months were greater than any months in the past twelve years. This includes the months that were followed by economic recession that started in 2008. Over this period the county’s monthly unemployment rate fell in between both five and eight percent and the county’s jobless rate topped out at 8.2% in January nine years ago.